Sunday, May 27, 2012

Novel Teen Blog Tour: "Failstate" by John Otte

Failstate book cover, by John W. Otte

My control shattered.
Fire rippled through me.
Darkness clouded my vision. And destruction flowed out of my body, coursing through every fiber of my being. An invisible, intangible aura that cut through the field. I gasped with equal parts horror and relief. I knew my power was wreaking havoc...destroying everything around me, but I couldn't stop. I'd have better luck stopping a fire hydrant with my hands.

Name: Robin Laughlin
Superhero Alias: Failstate
Age: Sixteen
Ability: Creates a potential failstate within covalent bonds at a molecular level (aka breaks down molecules).
Goals: To win America's Next Superhero so he can become a licensed superhero...and get the pretty new girl at school, Elizabeth Booth, to notice him.

Robin, aka Failstate's, goals undergo a drastic change when one of the contestants on America's Next Superhero is killed. The mystery surrounding the death is a catalyst that unleashes a chain of events and revelations that have Robin's head spinning, and life as he knew it will never be the same.

Oh. But this was a Fun. Read. Superheroes have made a comeback in the last few years, and with the success of the new Avengers movie, I'd say Failstate by John Otte has hit the bookshelves at just the right time. Failstate has an old comic book aura with new heroes introduced that feel as if they've been around as long as Batman and Superman.

The coming-of-age story of Robin/Failstate introduces a gritty yet relatable world where all of the characters made choices that were both good and bad and then had to deal with the consequences accordingly. They each had understandable motives. The good guys and bad guys weren't necessarily purely good or purely evil, just purely human, and they all had room for change. The plot wasn't overly predictable and often I had to change my opinion of what I thought was going to happen next. Also, it didn't just handle the standard "save-the-world-superhero" issues, but like any good story, it was layered, focusing also on family, friendship, crushes, morals, and faith.

I admit it. I didn't think I would like this book that much, but I was taken by surprise by how much I liked the story and how I look forward to seeing what's going to happen next. I even think it would be great to have some comics or graphic novels based on the "old" superheroes and villains in Failstate, like Meridian and Mind Master. I would definitely read those! Failstate is a great start to a series that both guys and girls will enjoy. Now, bring on the movie!

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Scifi/YA/Christian
Ages: 15 and up
Pages: 426
Publication Date: April 2012

Book Trailer:

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Failstate by John Otte by clicking on the links below, and check out for more information about Team Novel Teen.


  1. Movie! Movie! Movie!
    Great idea, Jessica. :-)
    And a great review.
    Everyone should read this book. It's fabulous!

  2. Whole heartedly agree. BRING ON THE MOVIE! That would be awesome. I also loved the layers and how everything worked together in the story. Great review and keep it up.

  3. From your mouth . . . er, keyboard, to God's ear. ;) Thanks for the great review and I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

  4. Haha, yes! I would love to see a movie or maybe even tv series. It would be awesome! For now, I will just excitedly look forward to the sequel. :-) Glad you liked the review!

  5. It WOULD make a great movie!

    Glad you liked the book as much as I did. :)

  6. I was also surprised by how much I loved Failstate! I'm glad it's hitting the market when it is!

  7. Christian: Thanks! :D And I don't have a youtube account, so I'll just tell you here that I LOVED your review. Haha, so creative and fun!

    addlibrarian: Yes! It seems to have hit the market at the perfect time with the Avengers and the new Spiderman movie and all. Definitely a superhero summer!